Pandemic Pantry: FREE cookbook launching in 7 days

Dear all,

I’ve completed the book cover and am busy doing a simple community cookbook style layout inside inspired by my time in the rural Canadian community from 2004-2013.

Simple, frugal recipes have been coming in from all over the world for this global community project during these challenging times.

This FREE online cookbook launches in 7 days!

I am taking recipe submissions for 3 more days (for the launch edition) and the book will be updated and re-uploaded every month with more recipes and messages from around the world.

Please include your name, country, and link to your website/blog/business. Am thrilled with the participation. Thank you!

Stay calm, stay safe, stay home

C xxxx

FREE 1939 War-Time Cookbook to Download NOW!

Hi all,

I came across this scanned wartime cookbook again. All the pages were originally on their sides which made it difficult to read so I’ve managed to rotate every page to make them readable and thought you might like to download it as there are some great historical recipes, the delightful thing is there are handwritten notes on some of the pages.



C xxxx

The original scanned cookbook came from this blog here

10 Wartime Stale Bread Recipes to Save Food from the Bin and Feed Your Family!

Don’t you dare throw that stale bread away and join the CoronaVirus panic buying throngs who are now discarding all their rotting ‘fresh’ produce. Bread is one of the foods I’m seeing a lot of photos of in dustbins. SAVE IT NOW from the mouth of the hungry metal monster due to take it away on ‘bin-day’ by cooking some of these delicious wartime recipes (mostly puddings). They’ll keep in the fridge for days once baked, and in the freezer for months!

I’d like to apologise in advance for the ‘amazing photography’ from 10 years ago (British sarcasm) in several of the recipes below, it was in the early days of the blog which started in 2009, when I was flat broke and REALLY struggling. I think most of my photos were taken on an old flip video camera but I like to keep them to remember my journey and it’s various challenges.

Stay calm, stay safe, stay home,

C xxxx

Padded Pudding with Mock Cream: Watch the video above. The stale bread mixed with milk and cooked with jam looks like poo. I felt like Letita Cropley carrying out one of her great culinary experiments with strange ingredients. It actually tasted great! A good life lesson, don’t judge something or someone on how it/they look, chances are they will taste surprisingly delicious… just sayin’! Click here for recipe.

Plum Charlotte: Here’s a super-frugal wartime recipe made out of stale bread and fruit that’s going a little soft. As I had two of these things in my kitchen and I’m always finding ways to make ends meet, when I saw this recipe I knew it was just what I needed.
Click here for recipe.

Bread and Butter Pudding: In Marguerite Patten’s “Victory Cookbook” there is always one pudding recipe that is an absolute ‘go-to’ when one needs comforting and one has spare eggs. All becomes good in the world when you take that first spoonful of sugary topped, eggy, bready, sultana sprinkled, nutmeggy deliciousness, especially if served with a little hot custard if you can overlook the fact that it looks like cockroaches are climbing all over my food in the photograph… Click here for recipe.

Duke Pudding: How can stale bread and grated old carrots possibly be decadent? Trust me they are when you make them into a wartime “Duke Pudding”… Seeing the rapidly drying bread on my countertop and the carrots beginning to get spotty in the fridge, it was time once again to turn nothing into something in true 1940s home-front style and create a truly delicious alternative comfort food, much needed today of all days. Excuse the photography, it was 8 years ago and I hadn’t a clue! Click here for recipe.

Danish Apple pudding: Possibly one of the WORST food photos I have taken in my life from 10 years ago. It’s blurred and I’m not sure what I took the photo with. It could have something other than a camera because I probably didn’t have one.. Don’t let the brown blurry blob put you off. I remember this pudding was fab! I need to re-create and re-photograph! Click here for recipe.

Bread and Apple Pudding:For pudding the request was for ‘bread pudding’ yet again. To avoid this wartime pudding permanently being referred to as “bread-pudding-yet-again” I turned to a large bowl of sorry looking apples for divine inspiration- after-all Sir Isaac Newton stared at apples for an awfully long time before being rewarded with an answer… Click here for recipe.

Bread and Prune Pudding: You know that can of stewed prunes that has been languishing in your larder for several years, that you don’t want to throw away because you have inherited your grandmother’s and possibly mother’s innate ability to have everything stored away for a ‘rainy day’, WELL, you are about to use it and it’s gonna taste pretty damn good! Click here for recipe.

Brown Betty: It was unusual to make bread pudding without raisins in, Brown Betty has none, no eggs or milk either which makes me think all bread puddings could indeed be made eggless. Instead, it has water, the juice, and zest of a lemon and a generous quantity of golden syrup, spices, two grated apples, a little sugar and of course LOTS of stale bread! Click here for recipe.

Bread Pudding: I re-created this recipe about 12 years ago. This wartime recipe is easy-peasy and tasty. And of course it all in the custard too. Click here for recipe.

Bread Stuffing: And finally a recipe made from stale bread that isn’t a pudding and doesn’t look like a formless brown blob. Bread stuffing is so easy to make! This photo is from about 12 years ago, my pre-vegetarian days! Click here for recipe.

The 1940s Experiment Social Pages

Hi there,

Just a quick update before I do some more digging in the garden. The 1940’s Experiment has several social media pages you may be interested in and find useful during these challenging times, especially my Pinterest page where you can find over 100 WW2 Ministry of Food leaflets, Cookbook snippets, and Propaganda posters!

I’ll leave the links with you below in case they may be of use to you!

Stay calm, stay safe, stay home,

C xxxx


Lockdown Day 3: Butterflies, Bees and Veg Bed.

It’s been wonderfully sunny all week, quite cheery, almost radically in contrast to the surrealness of our current pandemic ‘lockdown’ in the UK.

I drove my car today to drop a care package off at my parent’s porch in the hope it’s one less trip they have to make in the big, bad world outside to pick up necessaries. It was Dad’s birthday. He knew I’d be popping by but I wouldn’t be going to chat from a distance or anything (we have our orders in the UK not too!) It was a quick drop off and run but Dad, always being cheeky, had left a builders tape measure at the doorway, extended out to measure the distance I was to stay away from the house, he’d had added an extra metre for safety!  Even in the darkest of moment’s, there is always laughter…

Returning home shortly after I then spent a couple of hours in the garden. I’d been laying wet cardboard down on an overgrown flower bed in the hopes of creating a no-dig bed but with the economic turndown and the fact that I’ve now been 3 months without a job, I can’t justify buying in topsoil and compost so instead, I’ve decided to start digging over the bed. I’ll do an hour or two in the garden every day now while we have the weather and hope the shady bed, once completed, will be good enough for lots of kale.

The only sunny area of my garden is the bottom corner along the wall and this afternoon I watched many butterflies playing and bathing in the sun. There seemed to be insect frolics too as I watched both bees and butterflies squabbling in the air.

I grabbed my camera and took a photo of one butterfly that stopped for a moment, long enough for me to take a snap. Can anyone tell me what it is? My thought was it’s a Comma?

C xxxx

PS: What I’ve been up to today in photos… What have you been doing?

Lentil Sheperds Pie – Recipe No. 183 (Pandemic Pantry Submission)

Dear all,

I’d like to thank several of you for sending through a number of amazing, nutritional, simple and frugal recipes for the ‘Pandemic Pantry Global Community Cookbook Project’. All recipes and messages will be added to the FREE online cookbook which everyone can download for free.

When Leanne Spencer sent this recipe for Lentil Sheperd’s Pie through by e-mail last night, noticing that I did indeed have brown lentils in a storage jar in my ‘prepper pantry’, I couldn’t resist in baking this today for my dinner.

It tasted WONDERFUL, inexpensive to make, packed with protein and fibre and VERY comforting. Much needed in current days..

Thank you Leanne!

C xxx


Hi Carolyn

Thank you for organising this.

This is the lentil version of a shepherd’s pie that I make regularly. My favourite thing about this recipe, is that it’s not prescriptive, you can use whichever veg you can get.


Leanne Spencer

(Adelaide, Australia)

Lentil Shepherd’s Pie
Makes 6 generous serves


  • 4 cups cooked brown lentils, drained
  • 1 tblsp oil
  • 1-2 chopped onions
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 4 cups any minced, grated or finely chopped vegetables (eg mushrooms, carrots, sweet potato, celery, eggplant/aubergine, zucchini/courgette, capsicum/peppers – just use what you have)
  • 400g tin crushed tomatoes or a jar of tomato pasta sauce
  • 1 tsp beef flavoured stock powder or a tsp of vegemite/marmite
  • 2 tsp dry mixed herbs
  • 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tblsp tomato paste

For the topping

  • 3 large potatoes plus an equivalent amount of other suitable mashing veg (carrots, sweet potato, pumpkin, turnip, parsnip, celeriac, cauliflower etc)
  • salt & pepper
  • butter and a little milk


– Peel the root veg and cut into large chunks. Simmer in salted water until just tender and then drain well. Add some pepper and butter and mash. If the mixture is dry add a little milk (this will depend on which veg you’ve used).

– Heat the oil in a large saucepan or stockpot and soften the onions. Add the minced vegetables, garlic and herbs and stir for a couple of minutes. Add the tomatoes, worchestershire sauce and stock powder and simmer for 30 minutes.

– Remove from the heat and add the lentils and tomato paste and stir through.

– Heat the oven to 180C.

– Pour the lentil mixture into a large rectangular casserole or roasting pan. Top with the mash and bake for 45 minutes, or until the top is nicely browned.

I like this served with green veg such as beans or swiss chard.

How cheaply and healthily can a person live on WW2 rationing during times of emergency?

Have you lost your job, your business or have limited food supplies?

**I’m reposting this article as I feel that during our current times of unreliable supplies and economic uncertainty due to the global Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, most of us will be having to really pull in our belts and ration our food, certainly try and make it stretch further.

Please take a look at the standard food rationing allowance (below) in Britain during WW2. It was created to ensure that EVERYONE had access to the same foods every week/month regardless of wealth. Rationing ENSURED that everyone got their basic needs. People supplemented their rations with other foods they could freely buy in shops (IF available, there was no guarantee and plenty of shortages)and people turned to growing lots of vegetables in their gardens and allotments to ensure health and fuller tummies.

Much love, C xxxx


Original post from 2017 below

A couple of my goals for 2018 are to save a substantial emergency money fund AND to lose a very achievable 60 lbs in weight. The two things that concern me right now are financial safety and health safety.

One area to save on expenses and stretch things further would, of course, be eating food that doesn’t cost so much but still is healthy. Following a ration book diet, although it sounds austere and boring, could be a perfectly doable way to save money and ensure your food supplies last longer in the short term, it’s certainly worth giving it a go for a month or two…

So out of curiosity I’ve broken down first the guaranteed weekly/monthly ration for an adult into how much each item would cost per person and in addition I’ve also added in the cost of extra staples that a person may typically purchase during the week/month such as bread, oats, pulses etc.

Here is what it roughly worked out as per person per week using today’s prices

2-3 pints milk (Dairy milk 75p- £1.10 Plant milk £1.50-2.00)
8 oz sugar (15p)
2 oz tea- about 25 tea bags (50p)
8 oz margarine/cooking fat (70p)
2 oz butter (45p)
2 oz cheese (40p)
1 egg (15p)
4 oz bacon/ham (40p)
Meat to the value of 1s 2d – could be mutton or small pack of sausages or sliced corned beef (£2)

Additionally, you were guaranteed to be able to buy one large jar of jam every two months (£1.50 every two months), 12 oz of sweets every month (£1.50) and were allocated 16 points every month to purchase other foods in shops if they were available (only rationed food was guaranteed).

Monthly 16 points example (I think I would spend my points on this)

Lentils/Pulses 2 lbs = 4 points = (£2)
Rolled oats 2 lbs = 4 points = (75p)
Baked beans 2 cans = 4 points = (75p)
Bread/small flour = 4 points = (£1)

Vegetables either bought or grown weekly (I’ve used Aldi’s prices using Super 6 where I can – I personally use a seasonal organic box delivery for my vegetables but want to show the cheapest way to eat on food rationing)

1 small swede (28p)
1 small bag potatoes (28p)
1 small bag carrots (19p)
1 small cabbage (50p)
1 small bag apples (£1.50)
A few onions or leeks (50p)

Using all the above as a rough example I can see that the monthly amount spent on all the above to feed 1 person for 1 month works out to be

£39.00 ( about $52 USD) for one month.

This unbelievably works out at less than £1.30 per day per person for breakfast, dinner, lunch and extra fruit.

What do you spend? Is it more or less than this? Please share!

C xxxxxxxxxxxx

Recommended pages and posts

182 Wartime Recipes re-created
The Pandemic Pantry online global community FREE cookbook project
7 Ration Book Recipes to Beat the Coronavirus Pandemic Panic Buying.


Prepper Princess – Love this gal! She lives in the USA, an independent strong woman with lots of self-sufficiency skills working towards financial independence. Click here!

Homestead Tessie – She loves being as frugal and self-sufficient as possible with what she’s got and she loves creating daily videos! Click here!

Compost and Custard – I’ve known Naomi online for over 20 years. She has a passion for self-sufficiency and home schooling, nature, permaculture and wildlife. Click here!

Riverford Organic Farmers – loads of online recipes as well as supplying organic fresh veg via box. Click here!

Alaska Granny – The AlaskaGranny channel teaches how to become more resilient and resourceful. I like to use what I have to make what I need, and enjoy sharing tips and tricks to help others do the same. Click here!

The Money Freaks, Dave Ramsey Style: Claire Graves runs this excellent Facebook group. Click here to join!